Wiki tools (generic, data, and code)

This project is one I've been mulling over for years. Once I saw MediaWiki in action over at the Mondoglobo Wiki, though, I started to think long and hard about what online Wiki editing really means.

For one, of course, I've long maintained this site (or not) using nothing more involved than vi. But of course, that gets boring. Nobody likes typing HTML (even if you sometimes need it to do exactly what you want.) And as I've been generating more content lately, I've felt that need.

But much more salient to my own needs is my ongoing need to document code I'm writing or trying to understand. For this, I also want Wiki-like tools; my LPML tool was good while it lasted, but ... I don't like to type XML, either, and frankly, while that tool makes finding and reading my code much easier, finding the point in the source file to actually change is much harder.

So the goal here is something to replace LPML's literate-programming tools, eliminate the need to edit HTML or XML directly, and provide all this online. What you see here is my first stab at that: essentially, it consists of an AOLserver/Tcl wrapper which writes .wiki files into opportune places, combined with a Makefile and Perl scripts to build the actual HTML from those .wiki files.

This page is currently just a stub, while I get other things organized and maybe get a little more experience using this thing. Eventually, though, the wiki files will be able to embed code, and even be used to edit the code, online. The whole thing will be supported with a document management system which tracks suggestions from people other than me, and workflow tools to manage those suggestions.

But anyway, as of this writing, the basic online tool has been online to the public for about five hours. Since it has a POST form with a textarea, I'm already seeing spam on it, of course (within five minutes of its being available, actually) and so the whole thing will also have to interface with the modbot. But hey -- this is what makes it all so fun! Besides, it's the first new thing I've put online in quite some time ... well, since last week, anyway.


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